I want to buy new SF books for my daughter (8), who reads a lot and appreciates it. I'm always looking for books she can read.

I'm not worried by the difficulty of the book (she can read some books made for grown-ups), I'm not worried by violence scenes if they're not too gory/psycho, but I'm more concerned by sex contents. In this regard, a lot of classical SF books are not OK, and it's hard to find something both serious and child-compatible!

For instance: What Mad Universe (by Fredric Brown) is OK, most Asimov's robots, Dan Simmons, ... are not OK.

I heard about the Magic Ex Libris book series by Jim C. Hines. Is it suitable for children aged 8? Does it contain explicit scenes?

  • 5
    For our close-voter, I don't think this is especially opinion-based since OP has explained what they consider to be inappropriate content
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 6:34
  • 5
    Sex is out, but what about drugs and rock and roll?
    – Adamant
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 6:50
  • @Adamant - The main character says he's trying to prevent illegal magical drugs being used. About halfway through the first book he's exposed to one of those drugs and seems to enjoy its effects greatly.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 6:55
  • 3
    I'm voting to close because decisions on whether certain materials are "appropriate" for children is inherently opinion-based. Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 15:36
  • 1
    @RobertColumbia - Except that OP has very clearly stated what they consider to be unsuitable (e.g. "explicit scenes") which means that it's not opinion-based, although I guess you could still argue the toss over what constitutes an 'explicit' scene.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


No. Although the book series doesn't contain explicit descriptions of sex, it does contain a great deal of sexualised content. I've only glanced through looking for the naughty bits, so please bear with me on the descriptions.

One of the main characters is a dryad. She is written as a sex-confident character who possesses the ability to detect when other people in her near vicinity are having sex. There are multiple scenes where she and the main male character kiss and pet before before the camera cuts away and the first book ends with all three of the main characters heading off to have a threesome. The second book has slightly more explicit scenes (grabbing of breasts, hot kissing, etc.) and the third book has her descriptions of sexual violence being inflicted on prostitutes.

Although these scenes do occur infrequently (the third and fourth book seem far more focused on violence and contain far less sexy stuff) overall I'd say that this book series would be far more appropriate for a 16+ young adult audience and certainly not suitable for a child of eight.

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    Lloyd Alexanders Prydain books are probably a better fit for a child of 8 - though there is some tragedyy, esp. in the second book. But no sex. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Prydain Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 11:34
  • I'm glad I asked! The books were already in my shopping basket (the plot looked promising)... they're not anymore.
    – Evariste
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 12:09
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    I'm I guess more of a free-range parent than the OP. However, while I've enjoyed that series myself, I'm not even sure I'd recommend it for my adult daughters or wife. As you can probably guess from the content of this answer, the relationships depicted are largely hetro male (geek) wish fulfillment. That's fine for us hetro male geeks (yay us!) but not likely something that would appeal to the women in my house (if not most women).
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 15:21
  • 1
    As a non-hetero male, I don't think it would appeal to me either. Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 13:09
  • @TannerSwett - Which is exactly why I put it that way. I was only specific about reccomending to women at the end there because the OP was specifically interested in suitability for her daughter.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 14:09

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